IBM has introduced the first standard, high-volume chips built using its silicon germanium (SiGe) manufacturing process.
The chips target applications such as cellular phones, pagers, and other wireless communications devices; they are intended to extend battery life; carry out multiple functions; and result in smaller, lighter, and less expensive hardware.
IBM pioneered SiGe as an alternative high-speed chip material for mainframe computing. It competes for high-speed applications with gallium arsenide (GaAs), an expensive material that can be difficult to handle.
Last month, CommQuest, a wholly owned IBM subsidiary, announced it was incorporating SiGe technology into its offerings for wireless handsets.
Several of the chips are lower-cost replacements for existing IBM GaAs-based parts.